The new trend for shortlisting is to go Blind.
I must confess that I rarely get excited or motivated to watch any Saturday night talent entertainment shows. All except one. The launch of the 4th series of BBC’s “The Voice” is about to start this weekend.
My attraction for this show is not solely based on listening to such incredibly blessed individuals with clear and remarkable talents. My attraction to this show is the fact that judgements on the acts presented to them are made purely by performance alone and without the interference of an assessment on the looks and the overall exterior package of the individual. I am always fascinated by the body language and comments made by the judges when they view the contestant for the first time. They did not turn during the act but when they see the whole package (both talent and image) they sometimes perceive a missed opportunity.
Now, I am not here preaching cliches about "never judge a book by its cover" or "beauty within" but I do worry how we all (including myself at times) default to how a look of an individual determines their suitability and effectiveness. I do understand that built within all of us is the ability to assess an individual quickly based on looks, body language and the tone of voice.
The ever increasing popularity of the social media as a very useful pool to fish for talent. Potential employers and recruiters can see so much data about the individual's work history as well as achievements and successes. On the flip side it could also reveal very unflattering images of the candidate. Generally, if you fit the corporate image you have immediately made a step forward in the race for the position before any assessment has taken place.
Image compatibility of the candidate alone can be a very costly hire. The quick assessment of an individual suitability does not always lie in the social media photo of the individual but within the CV presentation.
Over the years I have had countless conversations with hiring managers who describe the discrepancy between the highly presentable and professionally formatted CV and the individual who attends the 1st stage interview. I appreciate that this is a subject matter all in itself for a blog another time. My point I am trying to make is that assessing an individual solely on photo or what keywords and layout of a CV as a way to shortlist candidates can result in a superficial match and once employed discover inconsistencies and deficiencies in the worker’s ability.
However, before inviting an individual for interview solely based on image or what you see within a CV, invite individuals in the spirit of like "The Voice" and shortlist blind.
Blueprint for Blind Shortlisting
Advertise your vacancy utilising all methods of social media, job boards, personal recommendations and direct the individuals to one location. Once you have captured the candidate’s attention you present them with an engaging video.
The video sole purpose is to communicate clearly the culture of your company, your mission and values, your expectations and scope of the role. This opportunity to present such a compelling case for both the passive and active jobseeker that your organisation is the right place for them.
When the candidates are interested and engaged with the vacancy then invite them to take part in an on-line 1st stage virtual interview. The objective of the virtual interview is to gather extensive data on the candidate's knowledge, career aspirations, core values compatibility; relevant competency based problem solving as well as relevant situational questions. The combined use of text, image and video to extract responses from candidates to help educate, inform and assess as well as keeping the interest level high and committed.
One clear benefit is the ability to reduce the time allocated for conducting pre-qualifying telephone calls or large scale 1st stage face to face interviews. The data would also be helpful resource for organisation involved in costly assessment days. Clearly the need to see how a candidate interacts with another is vital within assessment days, but you can shorten the length of qualifying time to reach the shortlisted candidates.
Therefore, armed with comprehensive data with which you have a greater grasp of who is sitting in front of you and instead of data gathering questions during the initial stages of the interview, probe for additional data on the responses you do have.
The decision on the successful candidate has been influenced by systematic data harvesting and comparison to the employer’s ideals. The analysis of situational responses can reveal compatibility that when a situation presents itself (usually after honeymoon period) that you can be confident that the individual default response is satisfactory.
The Blind shortlisting method is the way forward and that on-line systems like nutsandboltsit.co.uk can help you maximise time, reduce shortlisting costs as well protect against unfair discriminations claims. The new trend in shortlisting is to go Blind.
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